Skip to content

Johannes Hienrich 'Hans' Gawenda

August 30, 2023


May 7, 1932 - August 30, 2023

In Loving Memory ~

Hans passed away peacefully on August 30th, 2023, at Comox Valley Hospital with his beloved Helga at his side. Hans was born on May 7th, 1932, in Breslau, Germany.

He was the eldest with three siblings Ute, Maria, and Fritz. Hans spent much of his youth playing guitar and breaking young ladies' hearts.

As a young man, he was drawn out to the world and the opportunities that awaited in North America. In 1953 Hans immigrated to Canada with 50 Deutschmarks in his pocket. Vancouver was to be his new home.

He began as a laborer taking any job to survive. Hans subsequently found employment at Woodwards, downtown Vancouver. He met a gentleman who was selling microscopes and research instruments from a sample briefcase. That briefcase soon became Hans's.

Hans had the drive and ambition to take that briefcase of samples over the subsequent 45 years from his car, house, and garage and developed it into an internationally recognized supplier of world-class surgical research instruments, with offices in Vancouver, San Francisco, and Heidelberg - Fine Science Tools Inc.

Through those early years, he travelled constantly. His wife Dorthy and sons Micheal and Rob, as tough as it was, supported Hans in his endeavour. As the boys became businessmen Micheal and Rob were actively involved in F.S.T.

Hans is predeceased by his wife Dorthy and son Micheal.

Hans was fortunate to meet his new love, Helga, his partner of 17 years. He loved sailing, diving, cruising, and exploring the world with Helga.

Hans is survived by Helga, his son Rob and wife Heather, 3 grandchildren, the Mars family and nephew Markus and wife Simone.

Hans was a warm and generous man, with an incredible number of close friends, employees and associates who will miss his smile and kindness.

Helga would like to thank the team of doctors and nurses at Comox Valley Regional Hospital as well as Tracie and her team from Home Instead who helped Hans so much with his quality of life over the last year.

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.

Pop-up banner image